Rajkumari Ratnavati Girl’s School is a girl’s school in the rural thar desert of Jaisalmer in northern India.The school is unique in that the architects designed it in the shape of an oval that can withstand temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius.

  • Prize: Honorable Mention in Architectural Design / Educational Buildings
  • Firm Location: New York, United States
  • Company: Diana Kellogg Architects
  • Lead Architect: Diana Kellogg
  • Design Team: Arya Nair, Barbara Kuziemski
  • Client: CITTA

Architectural Marvel

This architectural wonder located in a small distance from Jaisalmer’s famous Sam Dunes in Kanoi village aiming to educate girls and empower them. The institution is shaped like an oval that blends in the desert made of yellow sandstone. Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls’ school has no air conditioners. The school blends with the desert landscape with the beautiful Jali wall at the roofs and solar installations ensuring sustainable principles. The building is designed by Diana Kellogg Architects and is funded by CITTA. Diana Kellogg started working on the structure in 2014. Construction by local workers started in October 2018 and took one year to complete. The school portion, called the Gyaan Centre, will accommodate 400 girls from kindergarten to Class X when completely ready.  Using local material to create infrastructure helped reduce carbon emissions, and Kellogg chose to build a solar panel canopy on the roof as a cooling system where temperatures peak close to 120 degrees.

Empower Women

The GYAAN Center will empower and educate women, helping them establish economic independence for themselves, their families, and their communities. Since the GYAAN Center is designed by a woman for women, Kellogg looked at feminine symbols across cultures when starting the design process — specifically symbols of strength, landing on a structure of three ovals to represent the power of femininity and infinity, as well as replicate the planes of the sand-dunes in the region of Jaisalmer. The Rajkumari Ratnavati Girl’s School will serve more than 400 girls, from kindergarten to class 10. It consist of The Medha – a performance and art exhibition space with a library and museum, and The Women’s Cooperative where local artisans will teach mothers and other women weaving and embroidery techniques from the region.

School Premesis

The program comprises classrooms, a computer center and a sprawling terrace. lunch will be provided and there’s also a bus that’ll bring girls to the school from nearby villages. thanks to this new building, and the collaboration between CITTA foundation and diana kellogg architects, girls living below the poverty line in rural jaisalmer will have access to education, economic freedom and personal autonomy. rajkumari ratnavati girl’s school is set to open for class in july 2021 while the two remaining structures of the GYAAN center are soon to be erected.


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